Offsite Hybrid “kit of parts” approach provides considerable customer and environmental benefits

Despite the complexities of the Capella project in Cambridge, a combination of effective BIM implementation and the utilisation of offsite manufactured precast components enabled the structural package to be delivered in only eight months, according to a recent report in Concrete Magazine.

The article, by Norman Brown, describes Capella as “A shining example of modern concrete construction” and focusses on a number of key benefits provided by the Hybrid approach taken by PCE Ltd.

These included:-

  • Effective BIM implementation: this enabled the integration of an “extremely complex” services strategy.
  • Offsite component manufacture: the structural package took a mere 8 months with the anticipated onsite in-situ concrete programme option being reduced by 20 weeks.
  • The “Kit of parts” approach: this allowed “exacting technical requirements to be achieved in challenging locations.”
  • Carbon footprint reduction: on-site savings in personnel and deliveries and considerable reduction of site waste “gives off-site construction a major environmental benefit compared to full on-site construction processes.”

Column beams and core units being erected by PCE to support fourth floor level,
Column beams and core units being erected by PCE to support the fourth floor level

Vibration resistance requirement

PCE worked, according to the report, with Professor Paul Reynolds, the University of Exeter‘s head of engineering who is a specialist in the field of structural vibration. This enabled the project to effectively address one of the main design criteria – floor plate vibration control due to the very sensitive laboratory equipment that would be used within the building.

9.5 x 3.3m pre-glazed cladding unit being turned to vertical by PCE Ltd
A 9.5 x 3.3m pre-glazed cladding unit being turned to vertical onsite

Capella – the complete project story

4,135 precast concrete components, 400 Deltabeams, 4,035m³ of reinforced structural concrete and 250 structural steel units. Read about the benefits of hybrid construction at Capella.

Concrete Magazine is devoted to the design, construction, technology and use of concrete as a structural material and combining high-level technical content together with practical project examples, Concrete provides the most versatile of structural materials what it craves the most: a positive vibrant image.